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For the Fan Who Has Everything: Comics Gift Guide 2014

Need a gift for the geek in your life? Fear not, friend of the blog and my friendly neighborhood comic book expert over at Reviews By Lantern’s Light is here to save the day.

Reviews by Lantern's Light

Welcome back, friends. It’s holiday time again and that means gifts. But whether you’re spending the check you got, treating yourself a little, or hunting for something for the nerd in your life, it can be hard to know what pick up for the holidays. Especially if you’re buying for someone else, hunting for something original and smart can quickly become a maddening experience and that tends to be about where the whole ‘peace on Earth and goodwill towards man’ thing starts to break down.

Happy HolidaysWell, worry not! Below I’ve assembled ten of my favorite comics. This selection should be generally accessible at your Local Comic Shop or easily located online and attempts to appeal to most, if not all, readers without rehashing the same tired best-sellers list.

It’s worth mentioning that there are tons of excellent comics that I simply haven’t gotten around to reading, but I wanted to…

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Passive Aggressive Heroes: A Round Up

Passive Aggressive Hero of the Year – Independent Theatres

As you may or may not know, the comedy movie The Interview, starring James Franco and Seth Rogen, was pulled amid terrorist threats over its content. Related appearances have also been canceled. While I totally understand theatres not wanting to court danger, particularly with The Dark Knight Massacre still fresh in the public consciousness, allowing people who consider any movie with Seth Rogen in it to be something worth getting worked up about to dictate what movies can or can’t be seen in another country leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
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Batgirls, Boy Wonders, and Beyond: A Parent’s Saga

Though often thought of as the domain of kids, many comics these days are written and marketed to adults. As I’ve said before on the blog, assuming a genre or medium is automatically kid-friendly or mindless fluff is where many parents go wrong. It’s also how many things that expect a level of maturity of their young readers, or were never intended for young readers to begin with, get banned. Or how you end up like that mom who accidentally bought her son a pornographic pop-up book because she assumed Game of Thrones was like Narnia.

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BANNED BOOKS WEEK: GRAPHIC CONTENT

Today marks the first day of Banned Books Week, an annual event meant to draw attention to book challenges/removals/bans and other censorship or intellectual freedom issues. This year the event, which runs from September 21-27, will focus specifically on comic books/graphic novels. I’ve already written extensively about the unique history and issues involved in comic book censorship on this blog, so I thought I’d offer a round-up of the highlights, as well as Banned Books Week resources and ideas on how you can get involved. It’s also frequently challenged horror author Stephen King’s birthday today, so let’s hear it for banned horror, banned comics, and the twice-damned banned horror comics! Long may ye remain in our libraries. Read More…

Retro-Review: Magneto – Testament

Nightwing17 recently reviewed the amazingly historical, tangentially superhero-related X-Men graphic novel Magneto: Testament. I absolutely loved this book and think it should required reading in schools as it is both incredibly powerful and surprisingly educational. Despite taking numerous history classes, elective and otherwise, this was the first time I ever heard that 10 million people died in the Holocaust, not 6 million, as every teacher I’ve ever had has mistakenly taught me. Anyway, check out the review and consider giving the book a read (although be prepared for crippling feels).

Reviews by Lantern's Light

Our culture fetishizes moral ambiguity.

As much as it’s become a dead horse trope, our storytelling conventions still rely on a black and white framework. Too often, like adolescents testing limits, we obsess over the ways we can complicate this simple dichotomy of good and evil. An entire age of comics was defined by our love affair with violent anti-heroes, ‘good’ characters who engage in ‘evil’ behavior.

Nonetheless, it’s rare that we latch on to a character who truly inhabits a moral shade of gray, rather than some attractive paradoxical commingling of good and evil. Magneto is one of these characters.

Part of what makes Magneto special is the inherent presence of a greater evil in his story. As limitedly as it factors in to some stories, Magneto inherently allows us to grapple with the problem of evil and to sort out our feelings about hatred, intolerance, and genocide.

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Another Year of Banned Books

Merry met, my dear readers. It seems my blog has been around for another year. And it has been quite the year here at the Bound and Gagged Banned Books Blog. One of my posts was Freshly Pressed, another was quoted in The Huffington Post, and we went from about 50 followers to over 2,000. So whether you’re new to the blog or have stuck by us since the beginning, thank you. Thank you for reading, sharing, commenting, and taking the time to come to our little corner of the internet.

This year we also gained two excellent writers. Hannah and Victoria Lepore were both kind enough to grace the blog with their thoughts, rants, and insights, joining me and Elliot Oberholtzer on our banned book crusade. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all three of them for contributing to the blog, for taking the time to write such thoughtful reviews, and for being generally awesome human beings.

I hope you’ll all stick with us for yet another year of banned book reviews, censorship news, and the occasional nerdrage. Banned Books Week is fast approaching, so check back for more Bound and Gagged goodness (not nearly as kinky as it sounds). In the meantime, enjoy this look back at the last year of banned book reviews. Read More…

Geek Parenting: Comics for your Teen Titans #2

My friendly neighborhood comic book expert brings you a second installment of his Geek Parenting series with more reading suggestions for your teen titans to help geek parents (and regular parents) raise their nerdlings right. Remember, most comics are not all-ages and everyone has their own ideas of what is or isn’t age-appropriate. If more parents did a little research beforehand, there might be a lot less banned comics and graphic novels.

Reviews by Lantern's Light

Welcome back parents of the geeky and geek-adjacent variety. I got a lot of attention on my last Geek Parenting article so I’m back to offer a few more suggestions for those looking to support their double-digit Supermen and Wonder Women.

This list is once again going to look at books I’d suggest for nerds at that in-between age of 10 to 15.

This time we’re going to look at a couple of old classics that are currently out of print but should be easily available online or at comic conventions.

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